Are You Stagnating?
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Stagnation in life stems from the misunderstanding that God is absent. But in the middle of a standstill, idleness, a logjam, there can be spiritual growth and development. And this gets things moving.
We don't always see such growth on the surface, though. Metaphorically, it's a bit like some flowers we have in my country, the little yellow winter aconites covered by the snow. They don't seem to be there, but actually they are.
Not so long ago, there was a period in my life that seemed to hold nothing but stagnation. After an active life in business and a short leave to study at the local university, I was laid off. I had not really been happy with my job. I was financially strapped and lacked the companionship of other people.
Then I toppled from my bike on a slippery road. It was a violent fall. I became even more discouraged. As it was very difficult to walk after the accident, I found myself sitting in what I named the "sofa corner of sadness and loneliness" all day. It seemed that I couldn't really do anything about it.
Immediately after the accident, I had called a practitioner of Christian Science to pray for me. I'd also prayed. I had declared that God was near and that God cared for me. And, even though my stagnation seemed to continue, I now realize it didn't; I was being forced to change my belief - my thought about things.
I considered a statement from the textbook of Christian Science, which says: "Accidents are unknown to God, or immortal Mind, and we must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind, in order to change the notion of chance to the proper sense of God's unerring direction and thus bring out harmony. Under divine Providence there can be no accidents, since there is no room for imperfection in perfection" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 424).
I realized that in my prayer I had to cling mentally to a certainty that in all God's universe there are no accidents. It may sound so simple - just changing my thinking about all this - but in fact it wasn't. It was a big job. Several times daily I was in contact with the practitioner, who, untiringly and lovingly, helped me through prayer. I knew that there was only one way of solving my problems and being physically healed, and that was through turning to God. These words from Page 261 of Science and Health were a constant help: "Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts."
During this period I was fully engaged in prayer. In that sense, I surely wasn't unemployed. In fact I was very busy. The Bible quotes God as saying, "I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand" (Isa. 42:6). I was grateful, and thanked God many times daily for the understanding of my spiritual being, the reality of which became more and more evident.
After this, my belief that the accident had been something real to God started to disappear. My leg and foot, injured in the fall, were healed. But do you know what also disappeared? Right, my belief about the stagnation in my life!
In regard to a large bill that had seemed impossible for me to pay, the bank now was willing to cooperate in such a way that I could immediately pay it. And something opened up that meant a better financial status for me. I joined a course in a certain type of computer programming that was important to employers. Friends even began to invite me out so often that I had to refuse some invitations.
As a verse says in Psalms, "It is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works" (73:28). I left the "sofa corner of sadness and loneliness" for an outgoing life and active work. I left discouragement for joy and expectation. I've found that when I understand the truths of Christian Science, I'm able to carry them out in actual practice.
Stagnation for me had meant that each time I thought of doing something worthwhile, I wouldn't be able to, because I didn't have the resources. But now I've replaced these thoughts with the consciousness that God is my substance and my source of income. I am His beloved child, and He cares for me.